Czech lawmakers have voted in favor of a new decree to ban all electronic and mechanical gaming machines in the Czech capital. The ban will come into force in January.
This means the end of all legal slot machines and video lottery terminals in the Czech capital once the current licensing period completes in 2024.
Prague councilor Hana Kordová Marvanová agreed that the new move would cause a loss of CZK 400m to the city’s annual tax revenue, but said money from elsewhere in the council’s budget would be used to make up the shortfall for sports, culture and educational programs in the city’s districts.
She said: “The issue of regulating the operation of gambling is primarily a question of finding a balanced solution, responding to the development of legislation and modern gaming technologies.
“On one hand, this leaves the citizen free to decide and do business, and on the other hand reduces pathological phenomena associated with gambling.”
Previous decrees passed in Prague have reduced the times and the number of venues where gambling can take place.
There are now 101 official casino venues while the number of gaming machines has fallen in the last ten years from 15,934 to 3,995.
Marvanová said the city also planned to take action to clampdown on “de-facto casinos” that offered a wheel of fortune in place of live play.